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Cyril of Alexandria—Saint & Scrapper

Today’s guest post is by Robert Klesko, Verbum’s Catholic Educational Resources Product Manager

It is zeal for your house that has consumed me – Psalm 69:9

The above quote from the Psalmist seems especially appropriate to the life and ministry of St. Cyril, Pope of Alexandria (c. 376-444). He was zealous. Zealous for the authentic Christian faith. But zeal without a bridle can lead to failures. Cyril certainly made mistakes in regard to his dealings with the city’s Jewish population and Orestes, the Roman Governor in Alexandria. He was prone to be hotheaded and unflinching in what he viewed to be unjust persecution against his flock from rival religious and political authority. However, Cyril is not honored as a saint and doctor of the Church for his political savvy. In fact, I believe it was precisely these early failures which caused him to refocus his ministry on the Christological questions of his time.

Cyril of course is known for his dispute with Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople. This dispute produced some of the most prodigious theology of the Patristic Age. His theology is available from Verbum as part of our special monthly sale. Our six-volume set of the Works of St. Cyril of Alexandria will introduce you to the zealous champion of the orthodox faith. Included in this collection are the Five Tomes against Nestorius, which set the groundwork for the Council of Ephesus (431AD) and Chalcedon (451AD). In Tome II, Cyril makes the following affirmation of the dual nature of the human and divine in Jesus:

Yet how is it not obvious to all that the Only-Begotten being God by Nature has been made man, not by connection simply […] considered as external or accidental, but by true union, ineffable and passing understanding. And thus He is conceived of as One and Only, and everything said befits Him and all will be said of One Person.

This statement, and others like it, heavily influenced the Church’s doctrine of hypostasis, the understanding that Christ is one person with two natures, human and divine. The “hypostatic union” articulated by St. Cyril would become one of the key doctrines of Christological and Trinitarian theology.

Beyond his Christological writings, this six-volume set will introduce you to St. Cyril as a Biblical scholar. Included are his two-volume commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke and the companion two-volume commentary on the Gospel of John. Composed of sermons delivered by St. Cyril on themes in the Gospels, these commentaries offer a rich exposition of the Alexandrian school of theology. Anyone interested in Patristics or Biblical theology would benefit greatly by making these resources part of their Verbum library.

Verbum’s sale on the Works of St. Cyril of Alexandria is for a limited time, so don’t let this opportunity pass by. Studying Cyril’s theology will give you a clear understanding of the development of the Church’s doctrine on the divinity and humanity of Christ. What a great opportunity to look at Christ through the eyes of one who was among the first to grapple with the classic theological question, “What do you think of the Christ?” (Mt. 22:42). Let the study of St. Cyril’s work ignite the zeal for Christ in your own life. Order today and take advantage of the savings!

Take 26% off Verbum’s 13‑volume Homilies Bundle

Verbum’s power extends beyond pure Bible study: some of its most useful features have to do with researching and preparing homilies. And, with features like the Catholic Topical Index, homily prep has never been easier.

Verbum’s new Homilies Bundle gives you insight from some of today’s leading homiletics experts. You can browse hundreds of homilies on a variety of liturgical events, from Sunday and daily Masses to feast days, weddings, and more.

Of course, all these homilies are linked and fully searchable, so you can study your homily side by side with relevant Bible verses, Catechism references, and Church documents.

Plus, with Verbum’s lectionary layout, you can open up a homily right next to the Lectionary, Roman Missal, and Bible for extra inspiration.

Homily preparation can be time-consuming. Verbum speeds it up—as you study, you’ll find references to works you may not have even considered looking up, all thanks to the way that Verbum organizes your library and links it together.

Want to learn more about Verbum and homiletics? See how Verbum can help you by watching this quick video.

Take 26% off the Homilies Bundle today!

Lift Up Your Hearts

Take 28% off Lift Up Your Hearts on Pre-Publication

Right now, you can pre-order the Lift Up Your Hearts collection for 28% off!

The liturgy “is the outstanding means whereby the faithful may express in their lives . . . the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true church” (Sancrosanctum Concilium 2). Verbum now brings you the Lift Up Your Hearts collection, a three-volume bundle of homiletic and liturgical helps for every Sunday and feast day during each year of the lectionary cycle. These volumes are linked and easily searchable, preparing you to give homilies that will inspire your parishioners all week long.

Lift Up Your Hearts isn’t just for priests and deacons, though it is ideal for this sort of work. It’s also great for parishioners looking for a deeper experience of the Sunday readings, or for liturgical ministers seeking insight into their participation in the Mass. Aptly named, Lift Up Your Hearts presents an engaging and deep exploration of the Word of God expressed living and true in the Mass and the public prayers of the Church.

Pre-order early to save 28% while this collection is on Pre-Publication. Regularly $45.95, these three volumes can be yours for $32.95. Pre-order yours today!

Or, better yet, check out the Homilies Bundle, which offers even bigger savings.

Take 24% off the CUA Studies in Early Christianity!

For just a little while, you can pre-order the Catholic University of America Studies in Early Christianity collection for 24% off!

The collection delves into the history of language, literature, social context, and patristic thought to bring you a rich overview of the ancient Church and its development over time.

These seven volumes give you brilliant original translations of key ancient texts, as well as dozens of critical essays on important historical documents like the Book of Steps, Liber Graduum,and more.

Discover the context and influence of Syriac texts in Christian thought. Examine how Christianity was spread by writers, readers, and translators in the second through seventh centuries. Analyze how the early Church Fathers dealt with ethical dilemmas, and apply their methods to twenty-first-century problems.

What makes this collection special is its brilliant historical scholarship. If you’re serious about exploring Church history, this collection is one you won’t want to pass up.

Deepen your understanding of history, language, patristics, and more. Pre-order the Catholic University of America Studies in Early Christianity collection for 24% off!

Verbum at the Fullness of Truth Conference


Submit your questions for Dr. Scott Hahn, Dr. John Bergsma, and Dr Michael Barber by joining this group.


Verbum has partnered with Fullness of Truth to make great conferences even better. Want to know how? This post should answer all your questions.

We want you to get the most out of the conference, and continue growing even after Mass on Saturday. Our Faithlife group and free app help you do this in several ways:

1. Join our Faithlife group to get exclusive conference information and news.

Follow this link and use your Logos account (or easily create one for free) to join a group of conference attendees. Get access to the schedule as a PDF document (in the documents tab) or right in the group (in the calendar tab). Keep an eye out for news and updates in the news tab.

Of course, all these tabs will appear once you join the group:

Join Faithlife Group

 2. Carry the Bible in your pocket.

The free Verbum app (for iOS and Android) puts several Bible translations—including the RSVCE—right on your phone or tablet. Use it to follow along with speakers, review the readings before Mass, or simply dive into the Scriptures. And yes, of course you can keep using it after the conference ends.

 Free Resources

(Trying to download to your Kindle Fire? Here are some step-by-step directions.)

For more information on downloading and using the app, continue to this post. Please note that free resources in the mobile app do not transfer to the desktop software.

3. Access conference information on your mobile device.

Once you’ve downloaded the free app and logged in with your Logos account, you’ll see the Faithlife news feed right in your app. It defaults to “My Faithlife,” but you can swipe in that panel to switch to the conference group feed. Keep track of updates and specials, or share your favorite insights from speakers.

Groups panel

Share right from your mobile device by clicking the “edit” icon.

Post a note

You can even access the calendar from your phone to make sure you don’t miss your favorite speaker. Simply click the “expand group” icon and navigate to the calendar tab.

Expand Group

You’ll access the website through the app frame.

App Frame

Click “done” to return to the Verbum app.

Once you’ve gotten familiar with the group and the app, be sure to join the Fullness of Truth group to hear about other upcoming conferences and special promotions.

Have a question? Post it below. We know this is a quick overview, and we want to help you get the most out of the conference. So let us know how we can help.

Look for Verbum at Your Local Conference

Verbum returns to the 6th annual Real Catholic Men conference June 15 at St. Pius X parish in Portland.  This year’s theme, “Behold My Beloved Son,” will be explored by Catholic Answers’ director of apologetics and evangelization, Tim Staples, and papal-medal-winning speaker Vernon Robertson.

Visit for more information.

Keep an eye out for Verbum at the next conference you attend, and be sure to stop by the booth: there will be special discounts on the latest edition of Verbum for new and existing users. If you (or a friend) have been considering purchasing or upgrading, conferences are a great opportunity!


St. Joseph, Protector of the Church

Today’s guest post is by Brandon Rappuhn, a Logos marketing copywriter.

St. Joseph and the Christ child 1599What do we really know about St. Joseph?

According to tradition, St. Joseph, the foster father of our Lord Jesus Christ, was born and raised in Bethlehem. He learned the trade of carpentry from his father, just as he would pass that trade on to his foster son, Jesus. Joseph was an honorable and righteous man, who followed the law of Moses for the purpose of serving God and his fellow man (Matthew 1:19). This man of humble stature has had a deep and profound influence on the Catholic Church for the past 2,000 years.

Admittedly, much of what we know of Joseph is speculation, educated guesses, and hearsay. But none of our veneration is without merit. The plain and simple fact that God chose Joseph and Mary to raise, teach, and train the child Jesus attests far more to their character than even the Church assumes. The Church remembers that Joseph is a simple, humble man and that he protected Mary and Jesus when they were vulnerable (Matthew 2:14), but that probably wasn’t the only time Joseph kept Mary and Jesus from harm. He worked with his hands to provide a bed, food, and clothing for the young Jesus—the small, vulnerable child who was (and is) the God of the entire universe.

It is commonly held that Joseph gently passed away of natural causes before Jesus began his public ministry. The Catholic Encyclopedia notes that St. Epiphanius says Joseph died at 90 years of age, and Venerable Bede attests he was buried in the Valley of Josaphat. In any case, Joseph’s mission on earth was completed as Jesus prepared to enter into public ministry, leaving Jesus and Mary to begin a radical movement and new covenant that would change the world.

St. Joseph in the world today

We venerate St. Joseph today as the patron of fathers, workers, and the celibate. Countless parishes, schools, hospitals, and US counties have been named after him. Pope Pius IX devoted himself to St. Joseph and, in 1847, established that his feast day should be honored by the entire Catholic Church. Later, in 1871, the same pope declared that the entire Church should be under his patronage, thus establishing him today as the Church’s protector. Just as God appointed him to protect Jesus and Mary, so does he continue to pray for the protection of the Church Jesus so loves.

When should I expect white smoke?

This is the question on every Catholic’s mind: when will I see white smoke? When will we have a new pope?

I can’t tell you exactly—no one knows precisely when the ballots will be burned—but here are some good times to check the chimney:

 PST  MST  CST  EST  CET (Rome time)
 2:30 AM  3:30 AM  4:30 AM  5:30 AM  10:30 AM
 4:00 AM  5:00 AM  6:00 AM  7:00 AM  12:00 PM (noon)
 9:30 AM  10:30 AM  11:30 PM  12:30 PM  5:30 PM
 11:00 AM  12:00 PM  1:00 PM  2:00 PM  7:00 PM


Time in Rome

The cardinals will cast two votes in the morning—which they will burn at noon—and two in the evening—which they will burn at 7:00 PM (Rome time). This means we will see smoke at noon and 7:00 PM.
If the cardinals do not vote twice in the morning—if their first vote is conclusive—we will see white smoke around 10:30 AM. Similarly, for the evening ballots, we could see white smoke closer to 5:30 PM.

Again, these are only estimates—it never hurts to check more often.

Keep up with the action using the Conclave app.

The Conclave Convenes on March 12—Ten Things You Need to Know

Today’s guest post is by Aric Nesheim, marketing specialist in the Catholic division.

As the papal conclave fast approaches, many are wondering how it actually works. The conclave’s fascinating history shows how malleable the papal-election process can be. Today, the rules and regulations for the papal conclave have been changed and altered by various apostolic constitutions and motu proprios. Here are 10 need-to-know points concerning the upcoming conclave:

1) When the cardinals enter the Sistine Chapel, after the master of the Papel Liturgical Celebrations says “Extra omnes!” (outside, all of you!), no one is allowed to stay save the cardinals themselves. The word “conclave” is actually derived from the Latin cum (“with”) and clavis (“key”), indicating that the cardinals are locked in together until a new pope can be elected.

2) Of the 117 cardinals eligible to vote, Pope Benedict XVI named 67 and Pope John Paul II named 50.

3) Two cardinal electors are not attending: Julius Riyadi Cardinal Darmaatmadja, SJ, archbishop emeritus of Jakarta, Indonesia, and Keith Michael Patrick Cardinal O’Brien, archbishop emeritus of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland. This means that of the 117 cardinals able to vote, only 115 will be participating in the conclave.

4) Of the living cardinals, only six were council fathers at the Second Vatican Council (Cardinals Angelini, Arinze, Canestri, Delly, Fernandes de Araújo, and Lourdusamy). However, all are over 80 and thus cannot participate in the conclave.

5) The apostolic constitution Universi Dominici Gregis (“The Lord’s Whole Flock”), issued by Pope John Paul II, stipulates that the conclave must begin 15 to 20 days after the vacancy. However, on February 25, Pope Benedict XVI issued the motu proprio Normas Nonnullas, which states that if the Cardinal Electors have all arrived, the conclave may begin early. As of today, the Vatican is still waiting for five cardinals to begin the conclave process.

6) In another motu proprio, Benedict XVI also changed the way that John Paul II had set up the election of the next pope. The voting process is simple: if the cardinals become deadlocked and cannot get a clear election with a 2/3 majority, they must take a day for prayer and dialogue and then vote for the top two cardinals of the last balloting (though these two may not vote—they have what’s called a vox passiva). Because the number of cardinals is odd, there needs to be a consensus of at least 77 before a pope can be elected.

7) When everyone is out except for the cardinals, the voting begins! The process is carried out in three phases: First, in what’s called the pre-scrutiny, the ballot papers will be distributed, and three groups of three cardinals will be selected to complete various tasks. The first group of cardinals will be selected to be “Scrutineers”—basically those who tally up the ballots. The second group, called “Infirmarii,” will be in charge of placing the ballots of any cardinals who are sick or weak (and thus cannot leave their room) into the voting urn. The third group will consist of “Revisers”—those who check the work of the Scrutineers.

8) Next, the scrutiny portion of the election will begin. Each cardinal will write down whom they wish to be the next pope and proceed to take their ballot to the altar where the three Scrutineers stand. Before a ballot can be cast, each cardinal must recite an oath in Latin that reads in English, “I call as my witness Christ the Lord who will be my judge, that my vote is given to the one who before God I think should be elected.”

9) Finally, after all the ballots have been opened up, the “post-scrutiny” portion of the conclave will begin. The Scrutineers add up the votes and the Revisers double-check them. If no clear election is made, the ballots must be burned and recast, followed by the signaling of dark smoke. If a new pope has been elected, white smoke will rise from the Sistine Chapel followed by the ringing of bells.

10) Whereas the ballots have, in the last century, been placed into a chalice and pyx, this time around there are three “urns” in which they are placed. The first urn is for normal voting, the second will be used only if there are cardinals who cannot leave their rooms due to illness, and the third will be used to gather the ballots after the scrutiny—right before they are burned to produce either the white or the black smoke above the Sistine Chapel.

Verbum introduces Conclave—the free papal election app

Main Promo ImageThe conclave is coming. While the Catholic church awaits a new pope, how will you stay in the loop? Conclave for Android and iOS makes it easy to stay up-to-date and well-informed.

Conclave keeps the information you need at your fingertips, and organizes it clearly and simply.

- Be among the first to see the white smoke rise—watch the live video feed from St. Peter’s Square.
- Learn about the cardinals in the conclave—115 electors, and 1 future pope.
- Read the official documents instating, defining, and amending the conclave’s process.
- Follow key Catholic sources and authorities like The National Catholic Register and Jimmy Akin.
- See what Twitter has to say about the conclave.

Conclave brings you the news you want when you want it.

Get Conclave now, then share it with your friends.

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